×

Govt: PG&E ordered destruction of evidence after deadly blast

In this Sept. 9, 2010 file photo, a massive fire roars through a mostly residential neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif. On Friday, April 26, 2013, the cities of San Bruno and San Francisco, PG&E and consumer advocates are to file briefs on what they think PG&E should be fined for the San Bruno gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010.
Michael Sah | AP
In this Sept. 9, 2010 file photo, a massive fire roars through a mostly residential neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif. On Friday, April 26, 2013, the cities of San Bruno and San Francisco, PG&E and consumer advocates are to file briefs on what they think PG&E should be fined for the San Bruno gas pipeline explosion that killed eight people in 2010.

Prosecutors say Pacific Gas and Electric managers ordered the destruction of incriminating documents about the deadly 2010 explosion of the utility's pipeline in San Bruno, a San Francisco news website reports.

The prosecutors made the charge late Monday in federal court papers based on a statement from former PG&E employee Leslie Banach McNiece, who said there were "instances when she received specific instructions to destroy documents" related to the blast, sfgate.com reported.

A spokesman for the utility, Greg Snapper, called her allegations "mischaracterizations." "We look forward to the opportunity to shed light on the facts in court," he said, according to sfgate.com.

The criminal case is scheduled for trial in U.S. District Court in San Francisco in March. The government is seeking up to $500 million in penalties against the utility. No former or current PG&E executives face charges, sfgate said.

Eight people died in the pipeline explosion in the community south of San Francisco and 38 homes were destroyed.